Somebody leaked confidential Kavanaugh documents to the New York Times

· September 6, 2018  
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Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats huddle
Mark Wilson | Getty Images

Emails from Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee and determined to be “committee confidential,” meaning they could not be shared publicly, were leaked to the New York Times Thursday.

Among the emails leaked by an “unknown person” is a March 2003 email in which Kavanaugh challenged the accuracy of a draft statement saying “all legal scholars” believe Roe v. Wade is “settled law of the land.”

From the Times report:

Judge Kavanaugh was considering a draft opinion piece that supporters of one of Mr. Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees hoped they could persuade anti-abortion women to submit under their names. It stated that “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”

Judge Kavanaugh proposed deleting that line, writing: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”

He was presumably referring to then-Justices William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, along with Justice Clarence Thomas, conservatives who had dissented in a 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court now has four conservative justices who may be willing to overturn Roe — Justices Thomas and John C. Roberts Jr., Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — and if he is confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could provide the decisive fifth vote.

Still, his email stops short of saying whether he personally believed that the abortion rights precedent should be considered a settled legal issue.

Other documents leaked to the Times deal with Kavanaugh’s thoughts on warrantless surveillance, affirmative action, and campaign finance.

The obvious purpose of this leak is to show that Kavanaugh, as a Supreme Court Justice, would rule for policy outcomes that the Left disagrees with. That makes it most likely that one of the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee or their staff leaked the confidential emails to the New York Times.

On Thursday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., threatened to violate Senate rules and make these documents public, calling his threat an act of “civil disobedience.”

“I am going to release the e-mail about racial profiling and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said as the third day of Kavanaugh’s hearing began.

“I come from a long line, as all of us do as Americans, that understand what that kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences.”

Booker followed through with his threat, releasing at least one dud document on his own website.

The consequences, if Booker is reprimanded by his colleagues, may include expulsion from the U.S. Senate.

It doesn’t really matter which Democrat leaked the documents to the media. The important point is that objections made against Kavanaugh are unrelated to his legal theory or matters regarding the Constitution. They are political and policy objections, because the Democratic Party and the Left view the Supreme Court as an unelected super-legislature that has final authority to impose their agenda in spite of the Constitution and the rule of law.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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